The IRS has been in the news lately over their apparent targeting of non-profit groups with the words "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their names for special scrutiny.
Senator Marco Rubio, (R-Florida) sent a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew demanding that the IRS Commissioner resign immediately. "...It is clear the IRS cannot operate with even a shred of the American people's confidence under the current leadership. Therefore, I strongly urge that you and President Obama demand the IRS Commissioner's resignation, effectively (sic) immediately. No government agency that has behaved in such a manner can possibly instill any faith and respect from the American public."
what eye thynk: First, the IRS targeting of specific groups for political reasons is wrong...period. At the same time, so many new non-profits popped up following the 2008 election--all claiming to be non-political groups but many, under closer investigation, found to actually be funding Republican candidates and causes--that I can't fault the IRS for being interested. Their methods were wrong, but the thought behind them, well...
Second, leaked details of a report on an investigation into this issue run by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George says that top officials in the IRS knew about the apparent targeting as early as 2011. If this is true, why didn't the then Commissioner of the IRS, who was a George W. appointee and a Republican, stop it?
You have to look at the fact that, despite IRS scrutiny, it took federal circuit court judges to void the tax exempt status of some of these "non-profits". Judges in Maine in particular outed groups for claiming non-profit, social welfare status while actually using their funds to promote conservative Republican causes. It does make me wonder if W's appointee knew about the results of these IRS inquiries but chose to ignore them for his own political reasons. (That is my first attempt at creating a conspiracy theory. I am ashamed...sort of.)
And finally, let's look at the way Senator Rubio made a fool of himself with his poorly formatted letter to Secretary Lew--mainly by calling for the immediate resignation of a person who doesn't exist. W's appointee left the IRS in November of last year. Since then, Republicans in the Senate have refused to approve any of President Obama's nominees for the post. And perhaps we should forgive Mr. Rubio for being a little blurry on the status of the IRS Commissioner since his fellow Republicans have systematically refused to approve so many of the President's nominees that, by now, they have probably all begun to run together.
The President responded to the IRS issue by calling it outrageous. "If you've got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous. It is contradictory to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable."
Just not the non-existent Commissioner of the IRS. Please, somebody tell Mr. Rubio.